Ginger: Herbal Power in Traditional Medicine and Body Care

Exploration of the role of ginger in Balinese health and culture, reviewing its benefits in traditional medicine, use in cooking, and its role in traditional ceremonies and business practices. Red ginger, a special variety in Bali, is also an important culinary element with its distinctive taste and aroma. Explore the magic of Balinese boreh which contains ginger as one of the most important elements in traditional body care. Ginger is not just a plant, but an integral part of Bali's unique identity.

Oct 7, 2023 - 18:45
Sep 27, 2023 - 13:36
Ginger: Herbal Power in Traditional Medicine and Body Care
Ginger (Source: Author's Collection)

The existence of a cultural heritage always has a specific purpose and meaning. The island of Bali, which is so rich in tradition and culture, is no exception in this regard. Bali, with its stunning cultural richness, has a long tradition of using plants as traditional medicine. The traditional Balinese healing traditions documented in Lontar Taru Pramana reflect a rich cultural heritage. Knowledge of these traditional medicinal plants has been an integral part of Balinese society for centuries. The combination of natural knowledge and local wisdom has resulted in a unique and effective treatment method. One of the plants used as traditional medicine and recorded in the Lontar Taru Pramana is ginger.


Benefits of Ginger in Traditional Medicine

1. Indigestion Treatment:Ginger has been widely used to treat digestive problems such as nausea, vomiting, flatulence and diarrhea. Ginger tea or ginger decoction is often used to relieve digestive discomfort.

2. Anti-Inflammatory and Pain Reliever:Ginger contains natural anti-inflammatory compounds that help relieve joint pain, muscle pain and headaches. This is an effective remedy for reducing muscle tension.

3. Immune System Booster:Ginger contains substances that can improve the immune system, help fight infection and disease and speed up the healing process when sick.

4. Flu and Cough Treatment:Ginger is also used to relieve flu and cough symptoms. Warm ginger tea with honey is one of the most well-known remedies to relieve sore throats and colds.


Red Ginger: A Balinese Specialty

Red ginger is a ginger variety specifically found on the island of Bali. The main characteristic of red ginger is its bright and striking red color. Apart from that, red ginger is also known to have a stronger and sharper aroma than regular ginger. This combination of color and aroma makes red ginger a very valuable ingredient in Balinese cuisine, giving dishes a distinctive taste.


Use of Red Ginger in Culinary

Red ginger is often used in Balinese dishes, giving it a unique taste and aroma. This spice is used in various dishes such as fried rice, soups and side dishes. Apart from providing a delicious taste, red ginger also brings health benefits with its high antioxidant compounds.


The Role of Red Ginger in Traditional Ceremonies

Red ginger is not only used in everyday culinary delights, but also has an important role in traditional ceremonies and religious rituals in Bali. This reflects how important this plant is in the culture and spirituality of the Balinese people. Red ginger is often used in traditional ceremonies as a means of worshiping the gods in religious ceremonies.


The Role of Usadha in Traditional Medicine

In addition to the use of ginger in traditional medicine, Bali also has an alternative healing practice called "usadha." Usadha is a traditional Balinese healing system that involves various methods such as herbal concoctions, massage, meditation, and mantras. Ginger is often used in potions prepared by Usadha practitioners to care for health and treat various health problems.


Ginger Spice (Source: Author's Collection)

The Boreh Bali Miracle

One well-known application of ginger in usadha practice is in making "boreh." Boreh is a mixture of spices, including ginger, which is used to care for the skin and body. Boreh is used in traditional Balinese massage therapy to reduce muscle tension, improve blood circulation, and provide a sense of relaxation. The practice of boreh is a clear example of how ginger is used in traditional body care in Bali. It also reflects the close relationship between nature, culture and health on the island.


Ginger, both regular ginger and red ginger, is one of the traditional medicinal plants that is very valuable in Balinese culture. This knowledge is recorded in the Lontar Taru Pramana and has been used for centuries to relieve various health problems. A special variety of red ginger adds a touch of color and distinctive aroma to Balinese culinary delights.


In addition, the practice of usadha, the use of boreh, and the use of ginger in various traditional ceremonies are great examples of how traditional knowledge, culture, and medicinal practices can come together in beautiful harmony on the island of Bali. Ginger is living proof of how closely connected culture, nature and health are in Bali. Through the use of ginger, the island of Bali continues to celebrate its rich traditional heritage while safeguarding the well-being of its people.